Officially spring starts on the first day of September, but as we plant producers know, that does not mean the weather is suddenly sunny and warm with light fluffy clouds gently floating around.
The reality is most often the direct opposite of the above, strong winds, southerly storms and snow dumps with the only fluffy thing being the lambs which seem to so often time their entry into the world conjunct with a raging storm.
A far cry from the delightful weather we enjoyed while visiting friends Robert and Jeanette Bett in Santa Barbara, California.
The cloudless days, which are the norm possibly, get boring with time but I am yet to find someone to confirm that notion.
Robert had a pretty full and exciting programme planned for the few days we stayed in Santa Barbara. However, the visit that stays at the top of a stack of excellent memories is the Sunday visit to Lotusland.
The garden at Lotusland is the creative fantasy of a larger than life figure, Madame Ganna Walska, who bequeathed the garden property to the public.
Sharing the access road with some pretty well known neighbours (think Oprah Winfrey to name one neighbour), there are some stipulations that the garden needs to adhere to, such as, the number of vehicle trips into the garden and it being closed on Sundays.
Robert had organised a guided tour led by Lotusland Curator of Living Collections, Paul Mills, on Sunday which ensured we saw the true extent of the garden and its fantastic collections with the full history thrown in.
The most dramatic collection in Lotusland would have to be the Dunlap Cactus Collection.
This bequeathed collection embodies the collaborative genius of a devoted collector, a visionary designer, numerous botanical experts and generous and imaginative donors all coming together to create an iconic garden that could only exist at Ganna Walska's Lotusland.
Cactus are not everybody's cup of tea, but this collection developed over 37 years by Merritt Dunlap does take your breath away when you see it.
Merritt's first plant was obtained in 1929 (a Echinopsis spachiana which is still in the collection) with his last in 1999.
Do not underestimate the size and scope of spikes and prickles in this collection, then think about what was involved in lifting the collection (which was mainly growing in the ground) and moving it to its new home in Lotusland.
A specialist plant mover, Mark Holland, was contracted to move the 30 largest specimens. Mark noted that the project was "the most technically and logistically challenging of any project undertaken in 35 years".